January is national stalking awareness month. Stalking is a crime that affects millions each year. The Division of Public Safety and Security is dedicated to educating the campus community about how to identify and report it.
What is stalking?
In Michigan, stalking is defined as a “willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened and/or harassed.” In other words, stalking is any unwanted contact between a stalker and their target that directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places the victim in fear.
Examples of stalking include unwanted:
- Phone calls and texts
- Appearances at the home or workplace
- Watching or following
Anyone can experience stalking in their lifetime. In fact, nearly one in six women and one in 17 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point. The majority of victims are stalked by someone they know and 18-24-year-olds experience the highest rate of stalking victimization. To learn more about how to establish boundaries and preserve stalking evidence, you can visit our stalking safety tips page.
How can you report stalking?
If you or someone you know is experiencing stalking, seek help as soon as possible by contacting DPSS at (734) 763-1131 or 911 in an emergency.
University police officers receive about 21 inquiries related to stalking behavior each year affecting our students, faculty and staff. The Division takes all reports seriously and completes full investigations. After making a report, you will be connected with the UMPD Special Victims Unit, which specializes in interpersonal violence incidents and helps guide survivors throughout the process.
Additional stalking resources:
- The National Center for Victims of Crime and Stalking Resource Center
- Abuse Hurts
- SafeHouse Center
Are you interested in educating your department or student group on stalking safety tips and resources? DPSS regularly provides safety presentations to students, faculty and staff on issues concerning safety and wellbeing free of charge. To request an educational safety presentation, contact DPSS Community Outreach at (734) 763-3434, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the online request form.